Archive for February 18th, 2003

18th February

First Published in The New York Sun, February 18, 2003
By Andrew Wolf

Are you upset that your child’s school didn’t make the list of the 200 “top performing” schools that are exempt from using the city’s new uniform curriculum? As a famous sage once said, “Don’t worry, be happy.”

This is another misstep on the rocky road to educational reform for which our new Tweed Ring, the city’s new Department of Education, is becoming famous. Parents, teachers, and community leaders in schools not on the list are beside themselves. Schools that are “winners” are printing up celebratory t-shirts.
And just what is it that these parents think they are winning or losing? The
conventional wisdom says that being on the list gives a school the license to use any curriculum or program it chooses. Wrong. Being on the list merely gives a school the right to continue with whatever program they are using now. And while there are many programs in place throughout the city, most of them are distressingly similar.
If you think that a school on the list is free to choose to adopt the highlyregarded Singapore math curriculum, think again. Can a school on the list sign onto the rigorous, much-admired Core Knowledge curriculum? No.